For ages, activated charcoal has been used in India for teeth cleaning. Then make the toothpastes, and they made us believe that fluoride is the way forward in dental care. Years later, they realized that the age old Indian way of cleaning teeth was indeed the best way, and so our very own Activated charcoal made a comeback.
How Charcoal Works
Activated charcoal, is a highly absorbent substance. Which means that any toxins, which when in contact with activated charcoal, is absorbed by it. Thus cleaning out the toxins.
Fun Fact: In the 1800s, two men took lethal doses of poisons (including arsenic) and survived without harm… their secret: they mixed the poisons with activated charcoal powder. (Stating the obvious: do not try to repeat these experiments!)
How does activated charcoal work to whiten your teeth?
A word of caution before we start. Activated charcoal stains everything it comes in contact with, so be careful in handling activated charcoal. Always buy the ones which come in jars instead of packets, for easy storage and usage.
We did some research and found out that even though it temporarily makes the mouth look extremely black (picture for emphasis!) it has the same effect as it does when ingested: it pulls toxins from the mouth and removes stains. (Fair warning: when you open your mouth, it is completely black and rather scary looking! Right after we did this the first time we were intensely worried that it would stain our teeth.)
To our surprise, all the black washes away and it makes your teeth looking very clean, without the stain.
Some research also shows that activated charcoal can actually be helpful in changing the pH of the mouth and is effective in killing cavities and bad bacteria present in tooth decay and gingivitis.
How to use activated charcoal for whitening teeth
Everyone has their own way of using activated charcoal (comment yours below). But here are some tips for beginners.
- Keep two toothbrushes. One for applying the activated charcoal, and the other for after. Also keep a cup of water for rinsing the mouth. Pro tip: Keep a microfiber or a cloth handy, so as to clean the stain in the wash basin.
- Dip a clean, wet toothbrush into the jar of activated charcoal.
- Lean over the container of charcoal and quickly put the charcoal-covered toothbrush in the mouth (this is to protect your sink).
- Brush in small, circular motion to cover all the teeth. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Spit and rinse until your mouth is totally clean.
- To remove any remaining charcoal out of your mouth, wet the the second clean toothbrush, brush lightly, and rinse.
- Wipe out the sink with the microfiber before it dries for easiest clean-up.
Another way one of our customer recommended was to mix activated charcoal with water, and swish it in the mouth for 2 minutes.
Where to buy activated charcoal
At Nature’s Tattva, we believe in getting the best products for you. In this endeavour, have brought together two varieties of Activated Charcoal. One from Coconut Shell and other from Bamboo. While Coconut Shell Charcoal is great against blackheads and whiteheads, Bamboo charcoal has made a name for teeth whitening.
Now that we have read enough about teeth whitening with Activated Charcoal, let’s answer some of the FAQs
Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening FAQs
Q1. Does it stain crowns/veneers/fillings?
A1. We don’t have any first-hand experience on this and therefore an experienced answer cannot be given about this. Although, a lot of people have used this method to clean their teeth and none have reported this to be an issue. But if you are concerned, its always good to take a recommendation of your dentist.
Q2. Would Activated Charcoal pull out calcium from the teeth?
A2. No. Activated charcoal pulls out organic compounds and not minerals.
Q3. Is activated charcoal abrasive?
A3. If you are concerned about charcoal abrasion, then its better that you use the activated charcoal without brushing or scrubbing. Just put a required amount of charcoal on the teeth and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before cleaning it out.
Q4. What sort of stain does Activated charcoal work on?
A4. After talking to a lot of dentists, we found that the charcoal works only for surface stain it is able to bind to, which is generally from coffee and tea etc. It will not work for teeth yellowed due to antibiotics or other internal factors.
Hope this FAQ section helps you resolve a lot of doubts about Activated Charcoal.